You know what love is? It's chaotic. It's severed arms and skull fractures and hemorrhages that are asymptomatic until it's too late. It's the roof of a restaurant collapsing on Valentine's Day. Of course, Grey's Anatomy portrays love as a tragedy, but we already know that.
1. Love is loving someone from afar for 15 years and not saying a word.
In addition, however, the Valentine's Day episode of Grey's proved that the its trademark trait - waxing philosophical about love and relationships - works best on episodes like "Valentine's Day Massacre." And so here are additional love lessons courtesy of the episode:
As Seattle Grace patients are wont to do, the head waiter of the restaurant told Alex (Justin Chambers) and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) that she loved the woman on the next bed for 15 years without telling her. The woman started out to be a regular customer - his "favorite part of the week" - until she came in with a date. Fast forward to engagement, he even put the ring in the creme brulee and watched her say yes from the kitchen window.
For fifteen years, the conversations grew shorter until eventually, the couple just ate, leading the waiter to believe that she was kind of trapped in a loveless marriage. Also, they didn't have kids, so the waiter was worried that when the husband, who was then undergoing surgery, died, she'd be left alone.2. Love is not having to talk or say anything.
Unbeknownst to said waiter, the woman in question was awake all along and was listening intently. On the contrary, she said, the lack of conversation - or lack of need to say anything - was reassuring. You don't need perfunctory chat just to fill up the silence.3. Love ruins friendships.
In something that most Grey's fans find more annoying than riveting, Teddy (Kim Raver) had a change of heart, sort of. She no longer wants to get Owen (Kevin McKidd) from Cristina (Sandra Oh), she just misses her friendship with her old Army buddy. Lord knows how that is easier said than done, transitioning from romantic to platonic in so short a time. And while that's hard enough, there's also a part of us that don't readily trust Teddy when she said she'll try "like hell."4. Love is not needing anyone.
Sure we giggled with Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) as they tease her about liking the guy, but it must be hard for Bailey (Chandra Wilson). She who has erected an impregnable emotional wall around her. She who for the longest time stayed alone and managed being alone - and seemed OK - while all around her people switch partners like musical chairs.
The first time anesthesiology guy asked her for dinner, she didn't even let him finish his sentence and said no. In the end, however, while she made it clear that she doesn't need anyone, that she is complete within herself, she said yes.
For someone like Bailey, love is a potential weakness she can't afford, a big wrecking ball that can do some serious damage. And yet, and yet. "I can't talk to you. You make me nervous.. I just go stupid," she pauses. "I like you, that's all. There."5. Love is not how it looks - most of the time.
The bottom line is: if you think you know what love is, you are mistaken. But back to the waiter. He thought he had the married couple figured out. That they no longer talked and they're both miserable. Still, he didn't make the move. The woman revealed to Mer that all along, she was just waiting for him ("Why do you think I keep eating there?").
And how about Meredith ("I'm not Mrs. Shepherd. I'm Dr. Grey.")? Grey's Anatomy fans would think she'd summarily reject the idea of going to a trustees breakfast and being an arm candy for the new Chief. And yet she went, and explained, simply, "I know I didn't. I chose to." And that's all she wrote.
(Image courtesy of ABC)